Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has attracted more than 750 million active users and its fair share of criticism for its privacy policies. Facebook offers unsuspecting users many opportunities to unknowingly expose their personal information, making the social-networking site a prime target for hackers. Adopting strong hack-prevention strategies can help keep your information secure and your Facebook account fully under your control.
For a hacker familiar with Facebook, accessing personal information takes just a few mouse clicks. Depending on the information included in your profile, your friends and coworkers, and their friends and coworkers, can access your name, address, family member s names, resume and even your phone number. If hackers obtain this information, they may eventually be able to use it to steal your identity. Here are some of the steps you can take to secure hack prevention for your Facebook account and increase your peace of mind.
First, only add friends you actually know. There is a trend on Facebook to collect as many friends as possible, but the people who do this have very little idea who is actually on their friends list. Some of those friends may not be real people but phishing sites trying to access your information. Accepting the invitation can allow a hacker to access your account. Review your friends list periodically to make sure you have not added anyone accidentally and that the people who have access to your profile are the people you want to have access.
Hack prevention requires vigilance. Verify links before you click on them. If a link seems strange or out of character for the sender, do not click on it. When a hacker gains access to an account, sometimes he or she uploads malicious code that replicates itself by posting itself to your wall. When your friends click on the link, it repeats the process. Outside links that lead to Facebook pages are another popular way to hack accounts. When in doubt, visit facebook.com and login directly.
Update your web browser when new versions are available to keep the antivirus, spam prevention, and other security features current. This will work to enhance your hack prevention methods and keep not only your Facebook account secure, but also the other applications you use. Update and run antivirus software on your computer on a regular schedule. Any time you access the internet, your computer becomes vulnerable to malicious users. Performing a virus scan on your computer regularly can minimize your vulnerability and increase your hack-prevention ability.
Password strength is the best measure of your hack-prevention strategy. Choose a password of at least six characters that uses a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Refrain from using a birthday, favorite pet s name or other easily identified information, and avoid words that can be found in the dictionary.
In addition to these common-sense approaches, Facebook has also created security features that aid you with hack prevention. Search Facebook s Help Center to locate them.
Secure browsing is a feature that encrypts your information before posting it to the internet. You can tell if this feature is enabled by checking the URL or web address in your browser s address bar. If the address begins with "https" instead of "http," secure browsing is turned on. Some third-party plugins and apps do not support this feature.
Login notifications can help you determine if anyone else has accessed your account. This feature notifies you whenever your account is accessed from a new device or computer. A variation on this feature is called login approvals. This sends a secure code to your mobile phone whenever your account is accessed from a new device.
If you need to access your account from a public computer in a library, on a college campus or another public place, you can request a one-time password from Facebook by texting the company. The password is uniquely generated and is valid for only 20 minutes. Taking this precaution can go a long way to hack prevention when access from a public computer is necessary.
Taking a few simple steps to secure your account can make your Facebook experience more pleasant and virtually worry free. Take the time to get to know the privacy and security features the site offers and protect yourself from prying eyes.
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